A couple weeks ago I was asked about cheating. Specifically if using technology to cyber date someone was considered cheating. It brought me to the conclusion that we needed to have a discussion about it, just you and me.
Cheating is a big nasty word. It conjures distrust, fear, and doubt in a relationship. It means that someone has violated the negotiated boundaries of the relationship. If you find out your partner is cheating you can go through feelings of worthlessness, anger and a myriad of other things. It's just a bad place to be.
But is it cheating if the offenses happened online? Can you cheat by chatting?
Depending on the condition and situation of your relationship your answer could be yes or no. In the beginning of KnyghtMare and my relationship, it would have been cheating. Now, not so much. We were online only at first and then when we moved in together that mentality was still in place. If we could develop a connection online, who's to say that you aren't doing the same thing with someone else? So online chat could have been considered cheating.
However now, we realize that while inappropriate, online conversations won't jeopardize our relationship. We don't engage in cyber D/s so it would be difficult to be considered cheating anyway.
Physical Cheating vs. Emotional Cheating
When I think of cheating I think of having sexual relations with another person. That's what cheating is to me. It's not the only definition though. Physical cheating is just that - sexual and intimate contact with someone else without the other parties awareness. And that's really the whole thing about cheating anyway - partner awareness.
There is also emotional cheating. Emotional cheating is when there is a powerful intimate connection that does not include sex or sensual contact. Oftentimes the emotional cheating is what develops with an online-only relationship and it can be the least recoverable. What defines emotional cheating is in the great debate in online forums. Different people consider intimate connections at different levels of the relationship. Others think that any conversation is bounds for sneaky behavior.
Is it All a Trust Issue?
When you lose trust in someone you can start to think they are seeking intimacy elsewhere. If you have been hurt in the past then you will see cheating as the end all fear of any relationship. But why would someone cheat on someone anyway? There are just as many reasons as there are cheaters in this world. Here are just a few:
- Forced monogamy on a poly-minded individual
- Unhappiness in current relationship
- Sexual frustration
- Accident - Innocuous relationship develops further than planned.
So is it cheating when your partner chats and develops a relationship with someone online? You tell me, leave me a comment!